Book Review: Mail Harry to the Moon!
I’m a younger brother, so forgive me if I can’t identify with everything contained in the latest Robie Harris/Michael Emberley team-up “Mail Harry to the Moon”. This ode to a big brother’s resentment of a new baby is the opposite of my experience growing up. Given that bias, it speaks volumes about quality of this book that I was still wholeheartedly entertained. A book about sibling rivalry that older brothers will relate to most, yet will be appreciated by scores of young readers.
The story is told from the perspective of an unnamed, curly-haired boy. Being the only child suits him quite well. Things begin to change as soon as Harry comes home from the hospital. Sharing is required. Loud noises become common. Our narrator has the solution whenever these unfortunate situations present themselves: get rid of Harry. In fact, the older brother is downright forceful in his suggestions. Harry spits up? “Flush Harry down the toilet!” Harry steals a prized stuffed animal? “Stick Harry in the zoo!” The bundle of joy cries all night long? “Mail Harry to the Moon!” It is when our protagonist’s wish suddenly comes true that he realizes Harry might be in trouble, and is in need of saving.
The bold watercolor illustrations add well deserved emotion to the story. When the older brother is annoyed, you can tell instantly. When he’s furious, it’s clear as day. Perplexed, sad, mortified – you name it, Mr. Emberley has it covered.
What it all comes down to is this: “Mail Harry to the Moon” is a book about dealing with a new sibling that will still appeal to a broad audience. The kicker? A solid read aloud pick too. It has laughs, and emotional content that kids can relate to. Add this to your collection with the clear conscience of a newborn.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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